has been awarded a $111.9 million contract with NAVAIR for a fourth batch of T408 engines to power the US Marine Corps’ Sikorsky CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters.
This latest contract for low rate initial production (LRIP) engines follows three previous LRIP contracts for this programme, the most recent being in August 2019. GE Aviation’s plant Lynn, Massachusetts, will undertake the final assembly of these Lot 4 engines.
Linda Smith, the T408 programme director at GE Aviation, said: “This most recent contract represents another big step forward for the T408 programme. The engine has more than 2,500 flight hours powering the CH-53K in hot and cold environments and through a variety of challenging flight tests.
“We are continuing to work closely with NAVAIR and Sikorsky as we approach ‘Initial Operational Test and Evaluation’ in 2021.”
GE Aviation’s T408 is ‘the most advanced rotorcraft engine in its class’. The engine offers 7,500shp, which is 57% more power than its predecessor, the GE T64.
This enhanced power enables the CH-53K to carry a 27,000-pound external load over a mission radius of 110nm in high/hot weather conditions, tripling the lift capability of the US Marine Corps’ ‘legacy’ heavy lift helicopter.
The T408 has nearly 11,000hr of engine operating time on the aircraft to date and compared to the T64, it also offers 18% better specific fuel consumption, 63% fewer parts and a more rugged compressor with split casing and erosion coating.
In addition to GE Aviation’s Lynn plant, GE Aviation facilities in Hooksett (New Hampshire), Rutland (Vermont), Madisonville (Kentucky), Dayton (Ohio), and Jacksonville (Florida), will provide parts for this contract.
MTU Aero Engines (Germany’s leading engine manufacturer and an established global player in the industry) is also participating in this programme; it is is responsible for the development and production of the power turbine.